Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strewthy Ruthy

Missing: Stubbie holder.
Ever since I fell on the ice at Central Park and fractured my wrist I've dreaded opening my mail box for fear of a monumental hospital bill. Sure I have health insurance, I even double-dipped and got travel insurance too, but with the way the U.S. system works it seems you're always putting your hand in your pocket, no matter how hard you'll break it.

Yesterday, the postman was much kinder to me.

I'd received mail from home before, with two Christmas cards getting here on time and another arriving in January. But having been away from home for a while, I'd begun to miss certain tastes from there that really feel like they're half a world away.

Sara was lovely enough to get them delivered to me.
Mars bars, Freddo Frogs, Caremello Koals, Mi-Goreng and Milo.

Better yet though, she wrote a lovely note that was no doubt, sweeter than any of the contents.

We used to live together in a hostel in Edinburgh, and it wasn't unusual for us to get a bus into town and stroll another 45 minutes down Leith Walk on our way to an Asian supermarket. We'd stock up on things like Milo and Mi-Goreng and she'd share with me all of the other treats she'd come across. When we weren't eating 35p packets of food she'd teach me how to cook soups and lentils, the kind of things I eat all the time at home.

I remember that she came to see me off at Waterloo station before I left Edinburgh. She bought me a bagel and cried as we said good-bye. I wish I had found better things to say to her, but a giant lump in my throat stopped me from talking. It was one of the tougher moments of my first year abroad, and made losing my bag (complete with passport, ticket home, computer, camera etc) seem emotionally insignificant.

When she arrived back in Australia I took the morning off work to pick her up from the airport. It didn't matter to me that I would have to stay back at work on a Friday, it was great to see her again. We ate the noodles she'd introduced me to in Edinburgh and drank tea like we were back on the other side of the world.

She moved 1000kms away to Melbourne, but was never more than a phone call away. Better yet, we've both found time to travel between the cities and spend time together. She even spent $75 to see Ryan Adams play a terrible show with me.

I last saw her in January 2010. She had recently come up to Wollongong and went to the North Gong before we followed that up with ice-cream at the beach. I was down in Melbourne two weeks after for another friend's wedding and Sara drove round Tullamarine apart numerous times trying to find me before her and her new Yaris whisked me off her apartment.

As much as I loved Chicago, her parcel really made my week. I can not wait to get into the food, and re-reading the letter has proved a lovely distraction from all of my school work.

To top it all off, when I brought back my box of flavour to my room I was greeted by a postcard from India on my desk. Brenna has been there for the last few months and despite the delays in the Indian postal system, her missive arrived.

I miss the pair of them immensely, and even being thought of while being so far away is flattering in itself.

So, if you're ever far from someone you're thinking about take the time to write them a letter or send them a card. It's a few minutes of your day and a dollar or two from your wallet. Just like tipping a little bit extra, it will mean more to the recipient than the effort does to you. Heck, it might even make their day.

The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Seems to suit the post, you know?

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